Rereading The Lord of the Rings

I don’t know when I first read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I think it was after I read The Hobbit. But when did I read The Hobbit? All I can say is I was much, much younger. It was before I moved to California, which means it was sometime before 6th grade. Assuming 5th grade as the latest possible time, call it 1983, when I was 11 years old.

Shortly after the Little Man was born, I tried reading it again, but I didn’t get far. After all, we had a newborn baby and were in the process of buying a house. Of course, I’ve seen and immensely enjoyed the movies that were made from the book, but my desire to read the books again–as an adult–has been growing and every once in a while, it would occur to me to do so. It’s been difficult to fit in, however. First, I have to read books that I review for InterGalactic Medicine Show. Then there was reading for my Vacation in the Golden Age. Now that the latter is on hiatus, I have a little more time to spend on other reading. With that in mind, I’ve decided to give The Lord of the Rings another turn. I am most interested to see how the book differs from the movie, as the latter has all but absorbed my early memories of the former.  And I’m also interested to read it as a grown-up (such as I am) as oppose to the 10 or 11-year old I was when I first encountered it.

I imagine I’ll have a few things to say about it along the way, but in the meantime, if anyone is wondering what books I’m reading at the moment, you can bet that one of them is The Lord of the Rings. (The other happens to be Gregory Benford and Larry Niven’s Bowl of Heaven.)


  1. Hey Jamie!
    I’ve first read the Hobbit (and then, The Lord of the Rings) when I was around 22 or 23. English is not my first language, so that first reading was not that easy – a lot of old-English expressions I did not understand. But since then, I’ve read the entire saga twice, and I found it better and better each time! Reading your post created an immediate need to read it again (the last time was 4 years ago). Thank you so much for the inspiration! I wish you a very good reading. Savour every word of it 🙂
    Keep up the good work – I really enjoy following you.

  2. This is really weird — today when I was at the library, I bought the triology for $.10 each. I realized I had never read any of them and felt I had missed out on a great experience. Then I came home and read this post — life is strange sometimes!

  3. I read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings in a long weekend when I was young and strong–because the animated versions of the movie were going to be broadcast that Sunday. I wanted to be “ready” for it.

    I was quite surprised at the differences between the animated movies and the books…

  4. Jamie, I know I read the hobbit in 4th grade, so 1976. Followed immediately by The Lord of the Rings trilogy. So funny to see you are re-reading it as I am also. My son is now 10 and he loves them, so I am reading them out loud to him and my daughter who is 8. We’re also watching the movies which my mom gave me when the set came out a few years ago… Enjoy!

    1. I can see this becoming a kind of bi-annual event for me. I used to read Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION series once a year. I’ve probably read the series a dozen times. This is my first adult reading of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, but I suspect it won’t be my last.


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